This is AiMH UK’s first national networking event. The event brings together early relational health professionals from all over the UK. There will be two opportunities for networking, the first to network with colleagues from all across the UK and the second to network with colleagues in your own area/region.

Book tickets


9:30 Opening Talk: Professor Jane Barlow, President of AiMH UK, will launch the new AiMH UK Best Practice Guide on Inconsolable Crying in Infants, looking at the current evidence with regards to prolonged infant crying, its causes and what works to soothe it. This new Best Practice Guide will focus on a relational approach to soothing infant crying with evidence from attachment and neurobiological research, which are providing a nuanced picture of the factors that influence the parental response to crying.

This Best Practice Guide (10) examines the current state of the evidence with regard to prolonged infant crying, including medical theories with regard to its aetiology, and the evidence about what works to treat such crying. It goes on to describe a relational perspective based on the most recent developmental theory about the cause of such crying, and evidence from attachment and neurobiological research, which provides a more nuanced picture of some of the factors that influence the parental response to infant crying. The paper concludes by describing a relational approach to supporting parent-infant dyads affected by this problem.

Speaker Bio:

Jane Barlow – DPhil, FFPH Hon) is Professor of Evidence Based Intervention and Policy Evaluation at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford, President of AiMH UK

Jane’s main research interest is the role of early parenting in the aetiology of mental health problems, and the evaluation of interventions aimed at improving parenting practices during pregnancy and the postnatal period. She also undertakes research to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions aimed at preventing child abuse. She is currently President of AIMH UK, Affiliate Council Representative of the Executive Board of WAIMH, an Associate Editor for the Infant Mental Health Journal, and was a member of PreVAiL (Preventing Violence Across the Lifesp an).

Jane also undertakes research on the effectiveness of interventions in the field of child protection, and is currently working with the NSPCC to develop a new prebirth pathway to support vulnerable pregnant women, and an intervention for families in which there is domestic abuse. She is also the lead investigator for the national evaluation of the A Better Start (ABS) programme.

10:00 – 11:00 Networking Session 1: Inconsolable Crying – finding a relational way through: tips and challenges. This is an opportunity to network with colleagues from all areas of the UK, to share ideas and practice. We will come back together to share the key take aways of these discussions as a whole network.


11:15 – 12:00 Networking Session 2: Local networking – connecting, sharing and developing.

Learn about is happening in relation to support for infant crying in your area

Brainstorm ideas for supporting parents further in your area

Discuss any other topical developments or issues in relation to working with parents and babies in your area

12:00 End

Members: Free

Non-Members: £20

Ticket includes a downloadable copy of the new Best Practice Guide 10 – ‘Inconsolable crying in infants’

Book your ticket on Eventbrite

Download the Programme

AiMH UK Best Practice Guides

AiMH UK over the last 8 years have written and produced 9 Best Practice Guides covering various topics that provide Infant Mental Health practitioners with state of the art evidence about ‘what works’ to support the development of infant mental health during the perinatal period. To access all the past editions of the BPG’s become a member of AiMH UK

Best Practice Guide 1 – Improving Relationships in the Perinatal Period: What Works? This guide looks explicitly at why the ‘Transition to Parenthood’ (TtP) is important and what the evidence tells us about some of the innovative methods of working that have been developed over the course of the last decade to support the couple in the TtP.

Best Practice Guide 2 – Improving Attachment in Babies – What works? This guide examines what the evidence tells us about some of the innovative ways of working to improve attachment security in babies.

Best Practice Guide 3 – Antenatal Anxiety and Depression. What should we be doing? This guide examines what the evidence currently tells us about why anxiety and depression in pregnancy matter, in terms of both the developing foetus and the long-term development of the child, and what works best to support women who are experiencing such problems.

Best Practice Guide 4 – The Relationship with the Unborn Baby. Why it matters. Pregnancy is an important opportunity for parents to develop a relationship with the unborn baby. This BPG summarises the findings of research examining the impact of this developing relationship with the unborn baby, in terms of both parent-infant interaction and the baby’s attachment status in the postnatal period. UPDATED JUNE 2023

Best Practice Guide 5 – Effectiveness of the NBAS – NBO in improving parent-infant interaction and other outcomes. This guide summarises the findings of a Cochrane review assessing the effectiveness of early, brief interventions such as the Neonatal Behavioural Assessment Scale (NBAS) or Neonatal Behavioural Observation (NBO) in improving outcomes for both infant and caregiver.

Best Practice Guide 6 – Relational Trauma in infancy. This guide examines what the evidence reveals about the way in which parental unresolved trauma can affect the interaction with the infant, the ways in which such interaction can be identified, and the evidence regarding effective dyadic models of treatment.

Best Practice Guide 7 – The effectiveness of Video-interaction guidance, a Cochrane systematic review. This guide summarises the results of the Cochrane review (March 2020) examining the effectiveness of 26 studies of different models of video feedback, in improving parental sensitivity, in addition to a range of other child and parent outcomes.

Best Practice Guide 8 – The secondary impact of Covid19. This Best Practice Guide provides a summary of what the evidence currently tells us about the secondary impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic on infant mental health. It describes a number of pathways through which the stress that is experienced by women, both antenatally and postnatally, can influence the mental health of the infant and later child/adult.

Best Practice Guide 9 – Enhancing parental reflective functioning across the perinatal period. What works? Parental reflective functioning (PRF) refers to the parent’s ability to think about their baby’s mind and to understand their baby’s behaviour in terms of underlying feelings. The ability to reflect in this way both before and after the baby is born, has been found to be a strong indicator of parenting behaviours when the baby has been born.